Minneapolis launches local food resource hubs

Do you want to grow your own food, but don’t know how? Are you interested in low-cost seeds, seedlings, wood chips or classes? Do you want to become part of a neighborhood-based support network of urban gardeners?

If the answer to these or related questions is "yes," then join a Local Food Resource Hub, a new initiative the City of Minneapolis, community partners and Gardening Matters. The hubs are designed to get Minneapolis residents and community gardeners the tools and education they need to grow, preserve, cook and compost their own fresh produce, by offering supplies, classes and connections. Hubs — which are not physical locations, but rather partnerships of individuals, businesses and community organizations — are now serving residents and community gardens in three Minneapolis neighborhoods: North Minneapolis, Powderhorn/Central and West Phillips/Ventura Village.

The Local Food Resource Hubs Network was a recommendation originating from Homegrown Minneapolis, a comprehensive initiative of the City of Minneapolis to improve the growing, processing, distribution, consumption and waste recovery of healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods within the city.

Residents can join a Local Food Resource Hub and select one of three types of membership: $10 for a household garden, $30 for a community garden or nonprofit, or $10 for an advocate. A limited number of memberships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve your membership spot, contact Gardening Matters (612) 821-2358 or download the membership form (in English, Spanish, Hmong or Somali) at http://www.gardeningmatters.org/hubs.

Members can pay their membership fee and pick up packets of seeds and seedlings at their hub’s distribution event on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Household members will receive 20 packets of seeds and 28 seedlings; community-garden members will receive 60 packets of seeds and 84 seedlings. The distribution events will take place at the following sites:

A second seedling-distribution event for hub members is planned for May 21. More information will be available on the Gardening Matters website.

To join a Local Food Resource Hub or to ask questions, contact Gardening Matters at (612) 821-2358 or info@gardeningmatters.org.

The Local Food Resource Hubs Network is made possible by funding from the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Published Apr. 20, 2011